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Eagles make front office changes

The Philadelphia Eagles have promoted Don Smolenski to president after Joe Banner decided to step aside.

Banner had handled the Eagles' day-to-day operations since joining the franchise in 1995 and was named the team president in 2001. He will take on a role as strategic advisor to owner Jeffrey Lurie while pursuing other options in sports.

"There is no better executive in sports than Joe Banner," said Lurie in a statement Thursday. "We are making this announcement today because he is looking for a greater challenge, and in Don Smolenski I have a highly regarded, very worthy successor as president of this team."

Smolenski has been with the Eagles since 1998, first as chief financial officer, and in 2010 was named the club's chief operating officer.

"Joe has been a great friend, teacher and mentor," said Smolenski. "His support and confidence have been instrumental to my growth and development in the organization. As the Eagles new president, I'm excited to build on the work we've done together over the years. I'm honored to accept the leadership of more than 200 terrific Eagles employees, who share our passion for building the strongest organization we can for Eagles fans in Philadelphia and around the country."

Before joining the Eagles, Smolenski served as chief financial officer for the International Hockey League.